New Homes & Rebuilds in Ocean, Monmouth & Atlantic County

Dream Homes Blog 4-13-13 – 4 Choices You Have About Rebuilding Your Home, Comments from the AC Builder’s Show & More about Emergency Power

Dream Homes Blog 4-13-13 – Rebuilding after Sandy

          4 Choices You Have About Rebuilding Your Home,

Comments from the AC Builder’s Show & MORE about emergency power??


Greetings NJ –

83 degrees to 54 and raining this week. Hello April in NJ.

Today I will write again about the 4 basic choices you have when rebuilding your home. Regardless of your situation, one of these scenarios applies to you. I’ll also include some additional thoughts on comments from the AC Builder’s show and (cheaper!) alternate backup power options.

Remember – FREE Rebuilding after Sandy Seminar: Mark your calendar: Thursday 4/25/13 at 2:30 at Kate & Ally’s Restaurant in Forked River. We will be hosting an architect (Scott Lepley), realtor (Tracey Giery), attorney (Sandra Guage), mortgage professional (Steve Brasslett, Ivy First Mortgage) and myself (Vince Simonelli, Dream Homes Ltd., builder) It’ll be an open forum for discussion so come get your specific questions answered – bring your surveys and flood elevation certificates. Seating is limited and refreshments will be served. We have 6 people signed up already and can handle about 30, so call 732 300 5619 to reserve your space. Click here for more info.

Notes from the AC Builder’s Show – 4/10 & 4/11: I attended the show on Wednesday, April 10th and took part in two 2 hour seminars on Rebuilding after Sandy and the Environmental Forecast in 2013 in NJ. Short version: The new FEMA rules probably won’t go into effect until 2015, by the time all the appeals are finished. Some zones will change, some won’t. Some will get worse, some won’t. No one knows. Current rules regarding the prohibition of commercial construction in V zones will (hopefully!!!) be relaxed, or else we risk 65% of the commercial ratable base in the affected shore towns. After about 4 hours I was sufficiently depressed enough to consider moving to Bimini, but I am still here. On a positive note, the DEP and CAFRA are both streamlining their permit approval processes, so the pain of rebuilding should conceivably be somewhat lessened. It’s NJ – we’ll see. On an additional negative note, there were very few builders interested in undertaking the complicated process of raising, new foundations and rebuilding for Sandy victims.

On to more positive notes.

SUMMARY ABOUT REBUILDING AFTER SANDY – YOU HAVE FOUR CHOICES  (I’ve covered all of these in previous blogs and will do so again – they’re important to help focus your thinking and efforts).

  1. Stay where you, don’t raise your home and remodel your house in place. Pros:      Least expensive option in the short term. Cons: Your flood insurance, if you have a mortgage and have to have it, will be really expensive.
  2. Sell your home as-is and move. Pro: Immediate resolution of issues with your home. Con: You will be selling your home for essentially a discounted lot price. REMEMBER THAT YOUR  LOT ALONE WAS WORTH $225,000 6 MONTHS AGO. YOU MAY GET $70,000 AS IS. That is not a good deal from an asset management point of view, but will end your pain immediately.
  3. Lift your home to at least BFE + 3, install a new foundation and renovate. Pros:      Cost effective solution which addresses flood insurance costs and essentially eliminates the risk of future flood exposure. If your in an A zone, costs should be covered by the combination of homeowners insurance and ICC (Increased cost of compliance) money. Cons: If you are in a V zone, costs may be greater than the total amount of insurance. Also, you still have an older home, which is now raised and renovated. The bones of the home may or may not be built to current codes. Costs per square foot range from $40 – $65.
  4. Demolish  your home and existing foundation and build a new foundation & new      home. Pros: The best all around solution for long-term value and least amount of maintenance and work for you. Cons: This will cost an average of $40,000 – $50,000 more than the raise and remodel option. Costs per square foot range from $115 – $145 per square foot.

That’s a decent summary of options, which hopefully will help to direct your thinking. The main variables to cost and feasibility are the age and size of your home, the current foundation structure (slab or crawl), and the specific flood zone where you are located.

Finally, more on backup power (Is this an obsession with me lately?) Another alternative to natural gas or propane backup generators when the power goes out (Thanks Pam Colon for reminding me of this one!) are regular gasoline powered generators. A 6500 amp generator from Home Depot will give you hot water, some lights, refrigerator, your computers and a TV or two. The civilized inexpensive method of accomplishing this is to purchase a disconnect box and transfer switch and mount it next to your existing panel. (the uncivilized really cheap method involves extension cords running from your generator into your house, or worse, connected directly into individual circuits in your main panel. Neither of the latter choices is a great option, but both are used.)

An electrician will then wire the important circuits (those needed to survive semi-comfortably) from your main panel into the disconnect box. If the power goes out, you shut the main, click the transfer switch on, fire up the generator, plug it into the transfer switch and back feed power through the main panel to the specific circuits you chose. The entire installation is about $500 – $600 (including the electrician and transfer switch) and the generator is about $650. The only downside is you have to keep filling it with gas – figure about 5-6 gallons to run it 16 – 18 hours a day. A good idea for any homeowner who doesn’t want to incur the expense of a natural gas whole house backup generator to be prepared like this – even if they weren’t affected by Sandy.

On another note, we actively purchase raw land, building lots and existing properties and have done so for many years. If you have property to sell, give me a call and let us evaluate it for you.

Stay well NJ.


Rebuild, Renovate, Raise or Repair Your Home from Storm Sandy

Rebuilding NJ One Home at a Time…

Residential Construction & Development for over 20 years in NJ

314 Rt.9, Forked River, NJ 08731 Mailing: PO Box 627, Forked River, NJ 08731

609 693 8881 x 102 Fax: 609 693 3802 Cell: 732 300 5619


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